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The best beaches in Brittany and where to find them

Carmen McCormack Profile Image

Carmen McCormack

Guest Expert

5 min read

Brittany is France’s largest peninsula, home to a vast stretch of rugged coastline and a rural patchwork quilt of gentle countryside, pretty villages and interesting towns. You could holiday here every year and still find undiscovered coves and hidden beaches. And it's this wild and dramatic coastline that draws holiday makers who are happy to risk temperamental weather for the sense of peace to be found in this independently-minded, unpretentious region. Match sublime beaches with pretty seaside resorts teeming with excellent seafood restaurants and you won’t want to stray far from the coast. Here’s our guide to the region’s best beaches.

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Crozon

The Crozon Peninsula is an anchor-shaped bit of land poking into the Atlantic in the west of France. Popular with French and Dutch holidaymakers as well as surfers and watersport enthusiasts, this wild and dramatic coastline is a gorgeous jumble of swooping headlands, sheer cliffs, sandy beaches, pebbly coves and hidden bays. Choose wide, elegant town beaches like Plage de Morgat or take the time to discover hidden gems such as the pebbly, sheltered Plage de L’ile Vierge – best accessed by boat. La Palue’s sweep of sand and crashing waves backed by heather strewn cliffs is a surfer’s dream while Postolonnec is a popular swimming beach with excellent rock pools at low tide.

Cap Sizun 

Baie des Trépassés, or the Bay of the Dead, on Cap Sizun on the west coast of Brittany was once renowned for shipwrecks, hence the name. Now it’s a gorgeous and unspoilt beach nestled between Pointe du Raz and Pointe du Van in Plogoff. Its sweep of sandy beach takes a pummelling from crashing waves and is a popular surfing spot. Take a lesson at the surf school or walk between both points for stupendous sea views out to Île de Sein and the Ar Men lighthouse. Known as ‘The Rock’ in Breton, this seabound lighthouse, built between 1867 and 1881, was an isolated and extremely dangerous place to work, exposed to the wild whims of the Atlantic, before being automated in 1990.

Côte de Granit Rose

To the north of Lannion is a spectacularly sculpted shoreline formed over 300 million years ago and slowly eroded by weather to create wild looking boulders of pink granite and fine pink-hued sandy bays. Everywhere you look there are secret coves and turquoise waters. Perros-Guirec is an elegant seaside town in the heart of the Pink Granite Coast, home to Plage de Trestraou, a wide sandy bay with a stunning stretch of beach sheltered by rocky outlets at either end. Flanked by a bustling promenade with shops, bars and restaurants, it’s got everything you need for a day at the seaside. Visit Coz-Pors beach for rocky scrambles and Greve-Blanchm which is a popular spot with families. 

Quiberon

The Quiberon Peninsula has 30 km of coastal wilderness to discover and its rugged charm has long inspired painters and poets. With its beautiful long sandy beaches and emerald green sea it’s easy to see why. Rocky headlands offer fantastic cycling and walking trails along the coast as well as inland with much wildlife to be spotted. At Saint-Pierre-Quiberon seaside resort you can try your hand at sailing, kayaking or even sand yachting. The Plage Baluden on the south coast of Belle-Île-en-Mer is insanely pretty with fine golden sand, clear blue water and gently sloping grassy dunes while Plage Kerminihy’s stretch of pale golden sand has protected dunes and nothing but endless views of the Atlantic.

Dinard

Elegant Dinard has a gorgeous belle-époque charm with neo-Gothic villas and fashionable hotels standing proudly behind a fine sweep of four sandy beaches. We love Plage de l’Écluse with its broad crescent of gently sloping sand. It’s safe for swimming and wide enough for beach games and with the promenade just behind you can make a day of it, popping up to a restaurant or bar whenever you need refreshments. There are bathing tents to rent if you need a bit of shade and there’s also a large outdoor sea water pool that can be a good swimming spot when the tide is out. 

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Carmen McCormack

Guest Expert

Carmen is a freelance writer specialising in travel. She once lived in a bus in north Wales, skipped off to study in Barcelona, and now calls Bristol home. When she’s not tapping away on her laptop, she can be found reading (a lot), lake swimming (a little), and pottering on the allotment with husband and two kiddos. She’s currently dreaming about cold cerveza and torta in Mexico.

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